nep-his New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2016‒08‒14
seventeen papers chosen by

  1. Introduction: the renaissance of African economic history By Gareth Austin; Stephen Broadberry
  2. Fecundity, Fertility and the Formation of Human Capital By Klemp, Marc; Weisdorf, Jacob
  3. Agriculture and Economic Development on the European Frontier : Portugal, 1000-2000 By Lains, Pedro
  4. Human Capital Formation during the First Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the Use of Steam Engines By Pleijt, Alexandra M. de; Nuvolari, Alessandro; Weisdorf, Jacob
  5. Start-up Nation? Slave Wealth and Entrepreneurship in Civil War Maryland By Felipe González; Guillermo Marshall; Suresh Naidu
  6. Six Centuries of British Economic Growth: a Time-Series Perspective By Crafts, Nicholas; Mills, Terence C.
  7. Persistent Social Networks: Civil War Veterans who Fought Together Co-Locate in Later Life By Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn; Christopher Roudiez; Sven Wilson
  8. Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation* By Sascha O. Becker; Steven Pfaff; Jared Rubin
  9. International Evidence on Long Run Money Demand By Luca Benati; Robert E. Lucas, Jr.; Juan Pablo Nicolini; Warren Weber
  10. The Effect of Occupational Licensing on Consumer Welfare: Early Midwifery Laws and Maternal Mortality By D. Mark Anderson; Ryan Brown; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Daniel I. Rees
  11. First Cabin Fares from New York to the British Isles, 1826-1914 By Brandon Dupont; Drew Keeling; Thomas Weiss
  12. The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe By Anna Valero; John Van Reenen
  13. Missing Men:World War II Casualties and Structural Change By christoph Eder
  14. The Long-lasting Shadow of the Allied Occupation of Austria on its Spatial Equilibrium By christoph Eder; Martin Halla
  15. Las haciendas coloniales del siglo XVIII y su impacto en el desarrollo económico de las entidades en México en el siglo XX. By Diana Eugenia Flores Peregrina
  16. Union Army Veterans, All Grown Up By Dora L. Costa; Heather DeSomer; Eric Hanss; Christopher Roudiez; Sven E. Wilson; Noelle Yetter
  17. Revisión de la literatura sobre redes sociales y entrepreneurship By Hernan Herrera-Echeverri

  1. By: Gareth Austin; Stephen Broadberry
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Klemp, Marc (Brown University); Weisdorf, Jacob (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: This research explores a fundamental cause of variation in human capital formation across families in the pre-modern period, as well as the mitigating effects of family-level economic prosperity. Exploiting a vast genealogy of English individuals in the 17th to the 19th centuries, the study proposes and tests the hypothesis that lower parental reproductive capacity positively affected the socioeconomic achievements of offspring. In particular, the research establishes an e↵ect of reproductive capacity on offspring human capital in the pre-modern era. Using the time interval between the date of marriage and the first birth as a measure of reproductive capacity, the research establishes that children of parents with lower fecundity were more likely to become literate and employed in skilled and high-wealth professions. The analysis finds that parental fecundity significantly affected the number of siblings, indicating that a trade-off between child quantity and quality was present in England during the industrial revolution and supporting leading theories of the origins of modern economic growth. Furthermore, it finds that the effect was weaker for the socioeconomic elite, who could offset the cost of additional children by raising total investment in offspring human capital.
    Keywords: Human Capital Formation, Child Quantity-Quality Trade-Off, Reproductive Capacity, Fecundity, Demographic Transition, Long-Run Economic Growth JEL Classification: J13, N30, O10
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Lains, Pedro
    Abstract: This chapter follows the steps of renovation of European economic history towards a more unified interpretation of sources of growth and stagnation. To better understand the diversity of patterns of growth, we need to look beyond the study of the industrialization of the core economies, and explore the centuries before it occurred. Portuguese agriculture was hardly ever at the European productivity and technological forefront and the distance from it varied substantially across the second Millennium. Yet if we look at the periods of the Christian Reconquista, the recovery from the Black Death, the response to the globalization of the Renaissance, to the eighteenth century economic enlightenment, or to nineteenth century industrialization, we may conclude that agriculture in this country of the European periphery was often adaptive and dynamic. The fact that economic backwardness was not overcome by the end of the period is no longer the most relevant aspect of that story. Long-term agricultural transformation in Portugal replicate to a large extent what occurred elsewhere in Western Europe, as far as our knowledge of both developments through such a long time span can tell, both in terms of timing and intensity, albeit at a distance. European agrarian transformation was not too different on the southwestern frontier.
    Keywords: Portugal; Europe; Long-term growth; Institutions; Agriculture
    JEL: Q10 O43 O13 N54 N53
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Pleijt, Alexandra M. de (London School of Economics and Utrecht University); Nuvolari, Alessandro (Sant’ Anna School of Advanced Studies); Weisdorf, Jacob (University of Southern Denmark, CEPR and CAGE)
    Abstract: This paper explores the effect of technological change on human capital formation during the early phases of England’s Industrial Revolution. Following the methodology used in Franck and Galor (2016), we consider the adoption of steam engines as an indicator of technical change, examining the correlation between industrialisation and human capital by performing cross-sectional regression analyses using county-level variation in the number of steam engines installed in England by 1800. Using exogenous variation in carboniferous rock strata as an instrument for the regional distribution of steam engines, we find that technological change as captured by steam technology significantly improved the average working skills of the labour force. In particular, places with more steam engines had lower shares of unskilled workers and higher shares of highly-skilled mechanical workmen deemed important by Mokyr (2005) in the Industrial Revolution. Technological change was, however, not conducive to elementary education. Literacy rates and school enrollment rates were not systematically different in places with more steam engines. This diverse response to new technology highlights the ambiguous effects of early industrialisation on the formation of human capital.
    Keywords: Economic Growth, Education, Human Capital, Industrialisation, Technological Progress, Steam Engines JEL Classification: J82, N33, O14, O33
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Felipe González; Guillermo Marshall; Suresh Naidu
    Abstract: Slave property rights yielded a source of collateral as well as a coerced labor force. Using data from Dun and Bradstreet linked to the 1860 census and slave schedules in Maryland, we find that slaveowners were more likely to start businesses prior to the uncompensated 1864 emancipation, even conditional on total wealth and human capital, and this advantage disappears after emancipation. We assess a number of potential explanations, and find suggestive evidence that this is due to the superiority of slave wealth as a source of collateral for credit rather than any advantage in production. The collateral dimension of slave property magnifies its importance to historical American economic development.
    JEL: N31
    Date: 2016–08
  6. By: Crafts, Nicholas (University of Warwick); Mills, Terence C. (Loughborough University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a time-series analysis of recent annual estimates of real GDP and industrial output covering 1270 to 1913. We show that growth can be regarded as a segmented trend stationary process. On this basis, we find that trend growth of real GDP per person was zero prior to the 1660s but then experienced two significant accelerations, pre- and post-industrial revolution. We also find that the hallmark of the industrial revolution is a substantial increase in the trend rate of growth of industrial output rather than being an episode of difference stationary growth.
    Keywords: growth reversal; industrial revolution; Malthusian model; trend growth JEL Classification: N13; O47
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Dora L. Costa; Matthew E. Kahn; Christopher Roudiez; Sven Wilson
    Abstract: At the end of the U.S Civil War, veterans had to choose whether to return to their prewar communities or move to new areas. The late 19th Century was a time of sharp urban growth as workers sought out the economic opportunities offered by cities. By estimating discrete choice migration models, we quantify the tradeoffs that veterans faced. Veterans were less likely to move far from their origin and avoided urban immigrant areas and high mortality risk areas. They also avoided areas that opposed the Civil War. Veterans were more likely to move to a neighborhood or a county where men from their same war company lived. This co-location evidence highlights the existence of persistent social networks. Such social networks had long-term consequences: veterans living close to war time friends enjoyed a longer life.
    JEL: J61 N91 R23
    Date: 2016–07
  8. By: Sascha O. Becker (University of Warwick); Steven Pfaff (University of Washington); Jared Rubin (Chapman University)
    Abstract: The Protestant Reformation is one of the defining events of the last millennium. Nearly 500 years after the Reformation, its causes and consequences have seen a renewed interest in the social sciences. Research in economics, sociology, and political science increasingly uses detailed individual-level, city-level, and regional-level data to identify drivers of the adoption of the Reformation, its diffusion pattern, and its socioeconomic consequences. We take stock of this research, pointing out what we know and what we do not know and suggesting the most promising areas for future research.
    Keywords: Protestant Reformation
    JEL: N33 Z12 R38 D85
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Luca Benati; Robert E. Lucas, Jr.; Juan Pablo Nicolini; Warren Weber
    Abstract: We explore the long-run demand for M1 based on a dataset comprising 31 countries since 1851. In many cases cointegration tests identify a long-run equilibrium relationship between either velocity and the short rate, or M1, GDP, and the short rate. Evidence is especially strong for the United States and the United Kingdom over the entire period since World War I, and for high-inflation countries such as Israel. For low-inflation countries the data often prefer the specification in the levels of velocity and the short rate originally estimated by Selden (1956) and Latané (1960) to either the log-log, or the semi-log ones. This is especially clear for the United States.
    JEL: E4 E41
    Date: 2016–07
  10. By: D. Mark Anderson; Ryan Brown; Kerwin Kofi Charles; Daniel I. Rees
    Abstract: Occupational licensing is intended to protect consumers. Whether it does so is an important, but unanswered, question. Exploiting variation across states and municipalities in the timing and details of midwifery laws introduced during the period 1900-1940, and using a rich data set that we assembled from primary sources, we find that requiring midwives to be licensed reduced maternal mortality by 6 to 7 percent. In addition, we find that requiring midwives to be licensed may have had led to modest reductions in nonwhite infant mortality and mortality among children under the age of 2 from diarrhea. These estimates provide the first econometric evidence of which we are aware on the relationship between licensure and consumer safety, and are directly relevant to ongoing policy debates both in the United States and in the developing world surrounding the merits of licensing midwives.
    JEL: I18 J08
    Date: 2016–07
  11. By: Brandon Dupont; Drew Keeling; Thomas Weiss
    Abstract: We present a continuous time series on first cabin passenger fares for ocean travel from New York to the British Isles covering nearly a century of time. We discuss the conceptual and empirical difficulties of constructing such a time series, and examine the reasons for differences between the behavior of advertised fares and those based on passenger revenues. We find that while there are conceptual differences between these two measurements, as well as differences in the average values, the two generally moved in parallel, which means that the advertised fare series can serve as a reasonable proxy for movement of the revenue-based fares. We also find that advertised fares declined over time, roughly paralleling the drop in freight rates for U.S. bulk exports, until around 1890, but thereafter increased while freight rates continued to decline. We propose several hypotheses for this divergent behavior and suggest lines of future research.
    JEL: N10 N11 N7 N71 R41
    Date: 2016–07
  12. By: Anna Valero; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: We develop a new dataset using UNESCO source materials on the location of nearly 15,000 universities in about 1,500 regions across 78 countries, some dating back to the 11th Century. We estimate fixed effects models at the sub-national level between 1950 and 2010 and find that increases in the number of universities are positively associated with future growth of GDP per capita (and this relationship is robust to controlling for a host of observables, as well as unobserved regional trends). Our estimates imply that doubling the number of universities per capita is associated with 4% higher future GDP per capita. Furthermore, there appear to be positive spillover effects from universities to geographically close neighbouring regions. We show that the relationship between growth and universities is not simply driven by the direct expenditures of the university, its staff and students. Part of the effect of universities on growth is mediated through an increased supply of human capital and greater innovation (although the magnitudes are not large). We find that within countries, higher historical university presence is associated with stronger pro-democratic attitudes.
    Keywords: universities, growth, human capital, innovation
    JEL: I23 I25 J24 O10 O31
    Date: 2016–08
  13. By: christoph Eder (University of Innsbruck, Department of Public Finance, Universitätsstraβe 15/4, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria)
    Abstract: A shock to the sector composition of the local labor market can affect long-run economic development of a location. Because structural change ultimately shifts labor from agriculture to services, an early transition to manufacturing may hamper longrun prosperity. The identification strategy exploits military World War II (WWII) casualties in Austrian municipalities as an exogenous shock to the local labor market. WWII casualties shifted labor out of agriculture into manufacturing in the short-run, which eventually led to a differential path of structural change. In the long-run, I find a strong and robust negative effect of WWII casualties on subsequent economic output.
    Keywords: Spatial equilibrium, local labor markets, structural change, World War II, Austria.
    JEL: R11 R12 J40 N14
    Date: 2016–08
  14. By: christoph Eder (University of Innsbruck, Department of Public Finance, Universitätsstraβe 15/4, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria); Martin Halla (University of Innsbruck, and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: As a consequence of World War II, Austria was divided into four different occupation zones for 10 years. Before tight travel restrictions came into place, about 11 percent of the population residing in the Soviet zone moved across the demarcation line. We exploit this large internal migration shock to further our understanding of why economic activity is distributed unevenly across space. Our analysis shows that the distorted population distribution across locations has fully persisted until today (60 years after the demarcation line became obsolete). An analysis of more direct measures of economic activity shows an even higher concentration in the former non-Soviet zone. This gap in economic activity is growing over time, mainly due to commuting streams out of the former Soviet zone. This shows that a transitory shock is capable of shifting an economy to a new spatial equilibrium, which provides strong evidence for the importance of increasing returns to scale in explaining the spatial distribution of economic activity.
    Keywords: spatial equilibrium, agglomeration effects, population shock, World War II, Austria.
    JEL: R11 R12 R23 J61 N44 N94
    Date: 2016–08
  15. By: Diana Eugenia Flores Peregrina (Division of Economics, CIDE)
    Abstract: Sólo después de Chile, México es el segundo país con mayor desigualdad social dentro de los integrantes de la OCDE (OCDE, 2015). El tema de la desigualdad en México ha sido estudiado por varios investigadores, en orden de poder entender el mecanismo a través del cual la pobreza y la desigualdad prevalecen en el país. El objetivo de este trabajo es encontrar el efecto a través del cual la desigualdad en tierras establecida por las haciendas coloniales intervino en el desarrollo económico. De manera intuitiva esperaríamos que el impacto que las haciendas tuvieron en el nivel de desarrollo fuera negativo, dejando a su paso mayor desigualdad de ingreso y menor acceso a bienes públicos. Sin embargo, resultados encontrados en Colombia presentan un escenario opuesto (Acemoglu et al., 2008). Los resultados encontrados corroboran la hipótesis anterior para el caso mexicano; se encuentra un efecto positivo y persistente en el desarrollo económico en aquellos municipios dónde se localizaron las haciendas en la época colonial. A pesar de que no podemos asegurar el mecanismo a través de la cual las haciendas tuvieron un impacto persistente, sugerimos que es probable que sea un efecto de spillovers como consecuencia de las derramas económicas que se dieron en los sectores de agricultura, ganadería y minería en estas regiones.
    Keywords: desigualdad, México, haciendas, diferencias económicas
    JEL: N01 N16
    Date: 2016–06
  16. By: Dora L. Costa; Heather DeSomer; Eric Hanss; Christopher Roudiez; Sven E. Wilson; Noelle Yetter
    Abstract: This paper overviews the research opportunities made possible by a NIA-funded program project, Early Indicators, Intergenerational Processes, and Aging. Data collection began almost three decades ago on 40,000 soldiers from the Union Army in the US Civil War. The sample contains extensive demographic, economic, and medical data from childhood to death. In recent years, a large sample of African-American soldiers and an oversampling of soldiers from major US cities have been added. Hundreds of historical maps containing public health data have been geocoded to place soldiers and their family members in a geospatial context. With newly granted funding, thousands of veterans will be linked to the demographic information available from the census and vital records of their children.
    JEL: I10 J10 N11
    Date: 2016–08
  17. By: Hernan Herrera-Echeverri
    Abstract: En este trabajo se realiza una revisión de la literatura reciente sobre las redes de emprendimiento. Desde una perspectiva instrumental, se pretende integrar las descripciones teóricas acerca de cómo el contenido y la estructura de las redes sociales contribuyen al éxito de la actividad del entrepreneur. Para tal efecto, esta revisión procede primero exponiendo los diferentes enfoques para el estudio de la relación entre las redes sociales y el proceso de emprendimiento. Posteriormente aborda las distintas definiciones y topologías existentes del concepto de red social de emprendimiento. En tercer lugar se exponen 5 modelos que explican la relación que existe entre las dinámicas de las redes y las etapas de evolución del proceso de emprendimiento; seguidamente este trabajo aborda el papel instrumental de las redes para los emprendedores en desarrollo de su actividad, concentrándose en explicar cómo los entrepreneurs usan las redes para obtener legitimidad social y cognitiva. El trabajo finaliza proponiendo algunas conclusiones y elementos a considerarse en investigaciones futuras.
    Date: 2016–05–02

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